Saturday, August 22, 2009

Coffeeshop Confessional - Overdue

The first part of my confessional is that this picture was actually taken 2 months ago. I got a new netbook (I love my toys) and I had intended on writing up a post when I got home and connected up to my wi-fi, but I guess I forgot.

What's worse is that this isn't the the final version of the drawing that I left behind. I also included a bit of text that indicated what my current project was. The jagged pill is that I'm still working on the same project. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't such a simple short story, but it is what it is and I've gotten done what I have. I tend to berate myself over the time constraints I have to deal with, but that isn't really productive either.

The best thing to do, I find, is to let go of the excuses and just move forward. You've got to have your mind right when you write - at least in my case. Sure, I could do better when it comes to getting right and getting to it, but that is neither here nor there. I've set my mind to trying harder to get into that zone and getting things moving again. My usual excuse it that work encompasses so much of my time and bogs down my mind so much that even in my free time I feel exhausted. That might be the case, but I've got to find a way of taking back my free time and using it more productively. I mean, otherwise dreams stay dreams and reality slowly melts away into a battalion of yesterdays ready to march onto the battlefield of tomorrow. I don't want to become a slave to procrastination. I've got too much left to do. You can't wait for life to be right for you before taking action and moving forward.

My current project is still "The Viability of a Seed" but I expect to have my first draft done by the end of the week. Then it's back to working on my book. I have more short story ideas that I would like to work on, but all in good time.


Jim Murdoch said...

When I was about your age I'd all but given up writing. I'd produced a handful of half-decent poems but that was about it. My life was in such a knot that I finally dried up and for over three years I wrote nothing until I managed to break out of it with two novels back to back but it was a nervous breakdown that proved to be the catalyst. Then what did I do? I wangled things so that my life ended up busier than it has been when I was thirty. Over the next fifteen years I continued to write but everything I wrote got shoved in the proverbial drawer because there was no time to do anything with it. I had family commitments and I had to face it, I was a hobbyist, not a real writer; that doesn't mean real writers have to pay their bills but they have different priorities and most act on them earlier.

Two months is nothing, Brady, but maybe if you look back on the last two years you'll be able to see a pattern. There are logical reasons why things don't get done and there are excuses too but underneath those excuses are . . . what shall we call them? . . . emotional answers, the feelings we respond to that stop us doing what our brain tells us we ought to be doing; we didn't feel like it and that's all there is to it but we scramble around trying to provide quasi-reasons for our lack of activity. Reason doesn't motivate our every action.

You're right, you can't wait for life to be right but you also have to work within your limitations: work pulls at you; family pulls at you; the need for food, rest and relaxation pulls at you and then you have what time you have left to be whatever you need to be. And you can only do so much in that time and sometimes you just don't feel like it. If you have a spare half-hour then you need to be able to use it wisely. They mount up. Editing is one of the best things to do in these windows because there you're only interested in a paragraph or even just a sentence. It's a matter of self-discipline and most of us are very bad at that. We want writing to be fun. When it becomes work, well, where's the fun it that? That's where a change of perspective is needed.

Didn't mean to write so much. This is in danger of becoming preachy. Just a few thoughts to mull over. Hope they help.

Unknown said...


Would it surprise you if I told you that I think you are one of my best internet friends? I respect your advice and I never think you have written too much. You consistently offer insight and perspective, and you always say it how it is.

I respect that you don't offer self righteous mumbo jumbo. You give up a piece of yourself and you say what you have to say with honesty and dignity.

I don't think you came off as preachy one bit, and it was just what I needed.

Laura said...

I'm still doing the Coffee Shop Confessional. I think it was a really fun and creative idea. Hope you do another soon too. :)